The Hindu – Immense research possibilities in Canada

The Hindu – Education Plus 

Page 5, By Chitradeep A. 

“Canada’s contribution to the world of research is only four percent and it needs to link with other countries and accelerate growth in research,” says Arvind Gupta, CEO of Mitacs Globalink and professor of computer science, University of British Columbia, Canada.

Mr. Gupta, who was in Chennai recently, spoke about the Mitacs Globalink Canada-India Fellowship Programme that enables engineering students in their third year to go to Canada and undertake 12-weeks of summer research internship with one of Canada’s leading researchers. Students from India, China, Brazil and Mexico are eligible to apply for this fellowship. Through its research and training programmes, Mitacs is developing the next generation of innovators with vital scientific and business skills.

Mitacs is a Canadian not-for-profit research organization headed by Mr. Gupta. Globalink is an international internship programme that offers undergraduate students from around the world three-month summer research projects at universities in Canada. Mitacs Globalink bears the cost of supporting the students with the research stipend which covers the programme cost, accommodation, airfare, visa, health insurance and local costs.

Such a research internship will be of mutual help to India and Canada. This research internship programme provides intern the opportunity to transfer their skills from theory to real-world application while companies gain a competitive advantage by accessing high-quality research expertise.

“Right now, the fellowship is restricted to engineering graduates. In future, we will have research internships in life sciences and economics and later on, will be expanding to cover other subjects as well,” Mr. Gupta said.  Last year, 170 candidates were selected for this fellowship and this year, Mitacs Globalink plans to offer scholarships to 300 Indian students.

It is not very common for undergraduates to get a research grant such as this one. “We are aiming to create awareness about the scope of research in general and expose these young people to very high-quality research projects so that they are inspired to get involved in research at a young age, and thereby provide them the competitive edge over their peers,” Mr. Gupta said. Apart from exposure to world-class research, students who get selected for this fellowship can use this basis for further study in any university in the world.

“Research has become very international and therefore, these young students who spend 12 weeks doing research in Canada will go to various other universities in the world or return to Indian and pursue research. There will be a strong network of inspired young minds globally and this will be a strong and powerful network,” he said.

The programme aims to project Canada as a destination for research and innovation and seeks to rope in top undergraduate students from India.

“Candidates’ application in processed and based on that we match the best student with the best research project,” Mr. Gupta said. The programme has 54 partner universities in Canada and in India, they have chosen to partner with 30 universities. In future, this programme will enable student researchers from Canada to travel to India and do internships in Indian univerisites.

The Mitacs Globalink looks for the best brains with best research plan/ideas with an open mind and inclination for research. Mitacs will handle arrangements related to research internship, housing, profession training and industry networking.